Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…
Black metal. What does it even mean anymore? The internet kerfuffle over Sacred Son’s album artwork for his eponymous debut once again presents the age old question of what is and isn’t “trve”. For myself, I consider this argument to be a bit superfluous. Technology advances, society shifts, tastes develop and refine, and the definition of whatever is pure in art alters itself with the times. Sure, there are specific tropes that make black metal what it is, but that in no way means that this subgenre does not have room for development while maintaining the sinister core of what makes black metal, well, black metal. I would go toe-to-toe with anyone who claimed that Leviathan, with all its genre-mashing opulence, was any less fundamentally evil and true to the spirit of black metal than, say, Bathory or Mayhem. This may be sacrilege to some, but I’m sticking by it. There is plenty of room in this style of music for madcap experimentation and growth, and stifling that because an album’s art doesn’t include corpse paint is beyond ridiculous. Now that I’ve offended just about everyone, on to the delights of September! Once again, Scott and I have curated a list of black metal records for you that both fall into the traditional format of the subgenre, and also transcend its confines into more experimental territory. As always, please argue, caterwaul, and protest in the comments and provide us with the albums you found the most intriguing in the month of September. Enough exposition. Let’s get down to it.
So, we mentioned the Sacred Son artwork controversy before. The chill artwork for the very real black metal album drew some ire, so we got the man behind the curtain to join us and tell it all. And it was a good time! We talk about the artwork (of course), but also the project itself, Dane’s views on the black metal scene and more. Eden and I then discuss new material from Augury, First Fragment, Cavalera Conspiracy (check out my retrospective), Leander Kills and The Kindred. We also discuss Metalsucks’s legal assessment of the Decapitated case, Marilyn Manson’s onstage accident, and Between the Buried and Me reacquiring the rights to their older material. Then we have a cool people section about some stuff, including the Netflix documentary Long Shot, Total War: Warhammer II, Annihilation (the movie), Blade Runner 2049 and the upcoming Dune movie.
A bunch of news and content! I’m just going to list it. Kiss’s Gene Simmons talking about his $2000 box set, Super Deluxe roasting Taylor Swift via Limp Bizkit, Machines of Man, Machine Head, Linkin Park’s tribute show to Chester (and our picks for vocalist), Sutrah, the Sacred Son artwork controversy, and the new Winds of Plague single. Also how ridiculous this Friday’s releases have been. Then we do a deep segment on producer Jens Bogren, including his work on Ihsahn, Leprous, Vildhjarta, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Devin Townsend, VOLA and more. Finally, cool people time. The cool horror/sci-fi game Echo, Kingsman: The Gold Circle, mother!, Hannu Rajaniemi’s The Causal Angel, Sunless Skies and more. Enjoy!